Krouncha means a heron. It is also the name of a mountain, said to be the grandson of Himalaya and to have been pierced by Kartikeya, the god of war, and by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. In Krounchasana, one leg is bent back at the knee and the foot is placed against the side of the hip joint, while the other leg is raised up vertically, its foot being held by the hands. The chin is then placed on the knee of the vertical leg. The raised leg resembles the outstretched neck and head of a heron, also a precipice. Hence the name.
- Sit on the floor, with the legs stretched straight in front.
- Bend the right leg at the knee and move the right foot back. Place the right foot by the side of the hip joint, keep the toes pointing back and rest all of them on the floor. The inner side of the right calf will touch the outer side of the right thigh. Join the knees together.
- Exhale, bend the left knee, hold the left foot with both hands and raise the left leg up vertically.
- Stretch out the left leg fully and keep the back erect. After a few breaths in this position, exhale, move the head and trunk forward and at the same time try and bring the left leg nearer and rest the chin on the knee of the left leg.
- Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, with deep breaths. Do not lift the bent knee off the floor while the chin is touching the knee of the lifted leg.
- Inhale, move the head and trunk back, lower the left leg, release the hands, bring the right leg straight forward and return to position 1.
- Repeat the pose on the other side, bending the left knee and placing the left foot by the left hip joint and raising the right leg up. Stay for an equal length of time on this side also.
Effects of Krounchasana
Krounchasana can be done as a continuation of Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana. It is harder to do than Paschimottanasana and therefore its effects are greater. It gives a full extension to the leg and exercises the muscles of the legs. The abdominal organs are also rejuvenated.
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